Personal Finance 

Financial Checklist for New Parents

Baby with an iPodMy wife and I recently had our first child, and to say it has changed our life is an understatement. Raising a child is an amazing responsibility, and it doesn’t stop with feeding and caring for him or her. Somewhere between the late night feedings, diaper changes, and doctors appointments, you will need to take care of an assortment of extra activities to make sure you have our finances in order. There are many things you will need to do when your child arrives and you will have many distractions, so I recommend creating a checklist so you don’t miss anything.

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 Personal Finance 

Is A Scam?

FreeCreditScore.comOne of the best financial things you can do for yourself is to regularly check your credit report. Identity theft is a huge business with billions of losses each year, not to mention all the time it takes to unravel the mess, so checking regularly is a great way to catch a theft early. That’s why you saw so many commercials on TV with the guy playing a guitar and singing about his ID theft woes!

So what’s the deal with them? Weren’t they sued? Is it a scam?

Let’s find out.

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Three Best Kept Secret Jobs of 2009

When I started college in 1998, the dot-com bubble was only an anxious froth. Computers were becoming increasingly popular and hardly a day went by when you didn’t hear about some hot new startup. They hadn’t really exploded yet, that wouldn’t be for another year, but everyone wanted to get into “computers.” The path to riches was paved not with cheese, as Feivel once thought, but with Internets and electronics.

Nowadays, computers are commonplace and while computer science and engineering still pepper the top job lists, there are a few jobs out there that you probably didn’t know paid as well as they do. Thanks to US News and World Reports, we now know eleven of them. I only looked at the more interesting ones.

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Managing Brand Creep in Grocery Shopping

When I read the original title of this article (How to Shop Sensibly for Groceries When Someone in Your Family is a Brand Loyalist) to my husband, he immediately chuckled and said “I don’t know how you do it but somehow, you do.” There is no question in our house about who has the specific brand “preferences” – he’s the one who has brand loyalty and it has been difficult for him to embrace generics.

I try to convince him that in most cases, generics are basically the same exact thing without marketing, which equals a lower price for the consumer, but he won’t believe me. And, I think he still doesn’t, but he does grumble a little less most of the time.

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What Are Tax Lots?

Computers & TaxesWhen the market took a nose-dive earlier in the year, I tried to catch a falling knife. Several times.

What I saw were some storied franchises being unfairly punished for the sins of other companies, so I tried to take advantage. I bought shares of companies like Kraft and Costco, Apple and Southwest, and after I bought them, they continued to fall (because the investing gods hate me). So I bought more. My crowning achievement, in terms of intestinal fortitude, has to be Yahoo, which I’ve purchased on five separate occasions since the very first announcement that Microsoft was interested in buying them. If you know what the share price was then, you’d probably be surprised to know that I’m actually profitable on the investment (at least on paper) because I kept on buying.

By buying a stock multiple time, you create what are known as tax lots.

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Basics of Online Education

University of Phoenix StadiumIf you go back a ten or fifteen years, there were two things you could do online that would get you laughed at: finding a date and getting a post-secondary degree.

With dating sites flourishing and online education popping up everywhere, the stigma associated with the “online” versions of both have all but been washed away. Meeting someone online no longer means you’re meeting someone capable only with interacting with a computer and getting a degree online no longer means you took some cupcake classes and paid for a diploma.

However, just as how you still want to be careful with who you choose to meet in person from an online dating site, you’ll also have to be careful which online university you choose to attend. Like dates, not all universities are created equal.

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Summer of Savings: $5 Live Nation Concert Lawn Tickets

Old Register: $5 KeyThe Citi Private Pass program lets Citi cardholders get access to music, sports, dining and other events. There are a few other credit card companies that offer this type of benefit, usually tied into their reward points system, but Citi’s Private Pass program is completely separate from their ThankYou Network. You can get access to the program by having a Citi credit card or a Citi bank account.

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 Your Take 

Your Take: What Would You Like to Accomplish in Ten Years?

Look into the future!Last week, I asked you what you’d tell yourself ten years ago. Today, I’m flipping the script… if you were visited by your future self, say ten years into the future, what would you like your future self to say about what you’ve accomplished the last ten years?

I would like my future self to tell me that I had started a family, started holding annual charitable events (much like my friend Scott and his very successful twice-annual Ghent Bar Tour), and built up Bargaineering to be a premier personal finance resource on the web. I’ve always measured success as a mixture of family, community, and career so to have reached those successes within ten years would be pretty exciting to hear. To top it all off, I’d like to know that I did it with hard work and determination mixed in with a little bit of luck, to help solidify what I learned the last ten years.

What would you like to accomplish in ten?

(Photo: bitterjug)

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